A U-turn is essentially a left turn, which means it is a very dangerous traffic maneuver. A left turn is involved in nearly a quarter of all crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association.
Often, the driver making the U-turn is found to be at fault for the crash. He or she must make sure there is enough time to make the maneuver without impeding the flow of traffic in the opposite direction. That said, determining fault for a U-turn crash can be difficult. Other drivers may speed or disobey traffic laws and they may bear responsibility for a crash.
If you have questions about who may be at fault for your U-turn crash, Schmidt Kramer’s Harrisburg car accident lawyers are available to help you. The initial consultation is free of charge and comes with no obligation hire our services.
Dangers of U-Turns
U-turns are a kind of left turn, and these turns are dangerous because you are cutting across lanes of traffic heading in the opposite direction.
However, if you are making a left turn, you may be able to speed up to get out of the path of oncoming traffic. When you make a U-turn, you are turning around so you can start heading in the opposite direction. You are directly in the path of oncoming traffic and speeding up may not prevent a crash, depending on how close oncoming traffic is.
U-turning drivers could not only get hit by oncoming traffic. They could also get hit by drivers turning right. Unfortunately, U-turning drivers and those turning right often do not pay attention to each other, putting them both at risk for a dangerous collision.
Getting rear-ended at high speed could lead to whiplash or neck or back injuries that could affect you for a long time.
Types of U-Turn Accidents
There are some common U-turn accidents to be aware of. Using caution and being a defensive driver could help you avoid these collisions:
- U-turning driver fails to make a sharp enough turn and sideswipes a car in the lane next to the one he or she was turning into
- U-turning car gets hit in the side by an oncoming car because the U-turning driver did not have enough time to make the maneuver
- U-turning driver stops or reverses in the middle of the turn and gets rear-ended by a car behind him or her
- U-turning driver goes into oncoming traffic and gets into a head-on collision
- U-turning driver sets off a chain reaction that results in multiple collisions with oncoming traffic and/or cars behind him or her
- U-turning driver fails to check for pedestrians and hits one in the crosswalk, as the driver is making a U-turn
Liability When a U-Turn Crash Happens
Each crash is different, which is why it can be difficult to determine who is at fault. Sometimes both drivers bear some responsibility for what happened.
The U-turning driver is often to blame because he or she pulled out when the path was not clear. Drivers making turns need to be sure they have enough time to make the maneuver without disrupting the flow of traffic and putting others in danger.
The U-turning driver is also likely to be found at fault for making the turn outside of the appropriate lane. Under state law, when a special lane for left turns has been indicated, drivers are prohibited from making a left turn from any other lane. Drivers can be cited for turning from another lane.
Under Pennsylvania’s Rules of the Road, drivers could also be cited for making a U-turn that interferes with traffic or for making a U-turn from a hill when your vehicle cannot be seen by approaching drivers within 500 feet.
Some intersections have signs prohibiting left turns. If you make a U-turn in that intersection and a crash occurs, you are likely to be found at fault.
However, if the driver of the car you were in a collision with was speeding or running a red light when you made the turn, he or she may bear partial fault.
Another scenario where the other driver could be to blame is if there was sign saying others must yield to U-turning drivers. There is often confusion about this when people are making U-turns. Drivers making U-turns may wave others on, or vice versa. Drivers making right turns often turn without looking or without consideration for U-turning drivers.
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Car crashes can be devastating. Not only are victims left with injuries and mounting medical bills, they may not be able to work because of their injuries.
Our attorneys understand how a car crash can cause a financial crisis – we have helped many victims recover compensation to help them move forward. We have been fighting for injury victims in Pennsylvania for more than 30 years.
We are not paid unless our clients get paid, and we have the resources and experience to pursue maximum compensation for your damages.
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